Tribute to Sophiya Haque

Talented beauty dies aged 41

Posted: 18.01.13
Tribute to Sophiya Haque

One of the most successful Asian stage actresses to have ever graced the West End stage, Sophiya Haque sadly died on Wednesday after recently being diagnosed with cancer. Sophiya was a regular on the pages of Asiana Magazine from talking about her roles in Bombay Dreams, to The Far Pavillions and starring in Bollywood movie The Rising.
Open, warm and honest, we always looked forward to meeting up with her and was especially blown away by her recent performance in Wah! Wah! Girls at the Theatre Royal in Stratford. At the time of becoming unwell, she was the only female cast member of the production Privates On Parade and despite it having been open just a month, she was receiving rave reviews; it was considered the biggest job of her career so far.

Sophiya was born in Portsmouth to a Bangladeshi father, Amirul Haque who owned a restaurant and English mother Thelma who was a school teacher. 
A confident singer, Sophiya began performing at a young age and was offered a record deal when she was a teenager as a member of a band called Akasa.
 It was during this time that she was spotted by TV producers and a few years later, Sophiya moved to India where she became a host on MTV, broadcast to 53 countries. She continued as a VJ for seven years.
During this time she was also cast in several Bollywood films including The Rising starring Aamir Khan and Rani Mukerjee.
In 2002 she returned to the UK and was cast in AR Rahman and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic musical Bollywood Dreams, alongside Preeya Kalidas. 
Her musical career continued to blossom as did her presenting – she appeared on the panel for Channel 4 reality show Bollywood Star where UK hopefuls were put through their paces to see if they could make it big in Bollywood.
Her role as a barmaid on British soap Coronation Street catapulted Sophiya into the mainstream, though afterwards she returned to her number one passion; performing on stage. Credits include Britain’s Got Bhangra, Ghandi and Coconuts and The Vagina Monologues and she had also just finished filming House of Anubis for Nickelodeon.
Sophiya was diagnosed with cancer shortly before Christmas which led to her getting pneumonia. It is thought she developed a clot on her lungs, though she passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Hundreds of fans and celebrities have been expressing their sadness at hearing the news. Asian Network and BBC radio  DJ Nihal tweeted: ‘She was a really cool person with an amazing energy’. Adil Ray added that he ‘loved her to bits.’

Read our exclusive interview with Sophiya here.
Visit our Facebook page to see more photos in our special tribute album


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